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Egyptian campaign speaks up for architectural heritage

Inspired by the plight of an Alexandria villa that has played an important literary role, a group of Egyptians are working to educate the public and protect the remaining palaces and other architectural wealth of Egypt.
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CAIRO — The destruction of historical palaces in Alexandria was foreshadowed by a popular TV series called “The White Flag” in 1988. It depicted the efforts of a woman, illiterate but rich and influential, to buy an old palace and have it torn down to be replaced by a huge residential tower.

In February, in response to so many old mansions being torn down, including the Alexandria villa that inspired British author Lawrence Durrel to write his famous “Alexandria Quartet,” a campaign called “The Country's Architecture: An Identity Worth Saving” alerted Egyptians to the heritage that is being destroyed. To enhance awareness of the country's historic buildings, a website is archiving Egypt's historical and architectural heritage.

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